It’s a common trait in all of mankind to make absolutely ridiculous promises. Most of the time we make promises to others, but each new year gives us the opportunity to make a couple to ourselves. New Year’s Resolutions are, at best, a to-do list for the first week of January. There is a not a single person on the planet who has ever made a New Year’s resolution and actually gone through with it, apart from maybe Adolf Hitler in 1939. And everyone knows how that worked out. The problem with resolutions is simple, we make too many of them and they’re too grand. They’re often impossible feats that we hope to accomplish through sheer willpower and motivation, something that the dawn of the new year makes momentarily seem possible but in the long run turn out to be beyond the bounds of possibility itself.
I’ve never been keen on resolutions, and I’ve never made any. Primarily because I feel that if you’re truly looking to change yourself, you won’t wait for the turn of the calendar year, a transition from one month to another to do so. It’ll happen automatically through an internal sense of a need for betterment if you truly feel it’s something worth changing. If we’re going to stick to making resolutions, here’s how it should work. For everyone to truly better themselves, they shouldn’t make resolutions, they should ask their friends to make resolutions for them. That would make things a whole lot more interesting and would probably cause a couple of public cat fights as well, something we really don’t get enough of. It’ll also give everyone a true sense of what they should be changing about themselves, rather than what change they perceive will be better for them. If you want to find out the truth about a person, that person should be last one you ask.
I’ve been told I’m a cynical person by nature. That I don’t believe there’s an inherent good in people. From the tone of this article so far, that should probably be something you think about me as well. I’ll accept that. I’m cynical, I see the worst in people and I believe that Man is the most ruthless of all species. We’re the only species on the planet truly capable of faking an emotion to get a situation to swing our way and we’re the only ones on the planet who can be shamelessly deceptive and take pride in doing so. We feed off lies and manipulation and pretty much everyone in the higher echleons of society or of an organization is a master manipulator and prizes his core values of savagery and remorselessness. It’s a desolate outlook to have of the world, but it’s mine through experience and deduction and I’ll take it.
I’ve been discouraging everyone I know from making resolutions and scoffing at every Facebook status that talks about the new year being better and bringing with it a sudden magical shift in their lives that sees them prosper in every avenue of life. I found it absurd, foolish and downright inane that a change in the calendar year, a mere progression from one month to another was the very foundation of all these wishes and dreams. It dampened my faith that people would learn to be more objective about life and accept that it’s a continuum. Troubles carry over from one year to the other, no one gets a clean slate moving from one year to the next.
And then, there were the fireworks. A tradition, if you will, followed world over on the eve of the New Year. A spectacular display of light, sound and colour in the sky for everyone to see, for everyone to look up at and for a few moments, get lost in. To break away from reality. To escape the continuum. It was then that it suddenly hit me. While everyone’s eyes were trained on the fireworks, I scanned the sea of faces around me and saw in them not absurd wishes, not unreasonable dreams, not magical desires for a year to escalate them to the top of the world, but just plain and simple hope.
The simple hope of having a slightly less stressful time ahead, the slight desire that this year isn’t too hard on them and doesn’t take too much out of them. It is Man’s concept of time that allows us to take in life one year at a time. Birthdays, major festivals, anniversaries, they’re all celebrated once in a year. One point, in each year, for us to celebrate something that means so much to us. One point in a year to celebrate our birth and the gift of life and one point in the year to celebrate the bond we share with loved ones. Life’s hard on everyone. Everyone’s facing lies, manipulation and trouble each day of their lives. People get battered, bruised, but they get up and face another day. And at the turn of the year, they say a silent prayer in their heart that the next year brings with it a few less bruises.
Escape the continuum. Take it in a year at a time. I hope this year is abundant with moments that make you smile, fill you with pride and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Happy New Year.